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Theo
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If I wanted furniture I could bolt together, take apart, and put together again, then I would drill the holes, without a fancy (read very expensive :crying: ) jig, then use bolts, washers, and nuts.
 
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Gary I'm sure it works well but it is awfully expensive for what it does and you could make one with drill bushings from Lee Valley for a small fraction of that cost. And how often would you make something that uses cross bolts? I did when I made my work bench but that was years ago.
 

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In my earlier woodworking days Gary making jigs took up lots of my time but I got over that stage and when money wasn't a real problem, I started to buy fancy jigs and if I was still making furniture I would certainly buy one of those beautifully made jigs. I have a fetish for beautiful things, it probably started in 1952 when I met the girl who in 1954 became my wife and still is!
 

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Somebody quite well known did a piece on the cross-bolt process(?). Maybe the late Pat Warner, or maybe Bill Hylton? I just remember someone being hugely in favour of them due to their incredible strength in wood.
 

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I think it was Pat on here but maybe Hylton did too elsewhere. They work really well but unless you are in the habit of building work benches or kitchen tables with a trestle design then I don't know how often you would use them. Unless you plan on putting plugs over the ends then they aren't going to look very nice and if you are plugging them then you need fairly thick members to be able to have enough clearance over bolt heads and the cross dowels.
 
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My students are required to design and build a knock-down (quick assembly) piece of furniture, and cross dowels are often used. The biggest challenge is to accurately align the bolt hole with the center of the cross dowel. We have an auto-centering dowelling jig that usually solves that problem. When the hole misses, we just use a slightly larger (5/16") drill bit to open up the bolt hole so the bolt can find the cross dowel. It also doesn't take much time to make a quick jig with inserted bushings, but as the material thickness varies an adjustable jig like the linked version would come in handy.

4D
 

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Pocket hole screws don't hold as well as a cross bolt. Also, the general use of the cross bolt is in trestle design where they are used to attach a stretcher between legs that helps overcome racking forces. This means that you use a fairly wide member in a vertical orientation so pocket holes would have to be on the sides where they would be quite visible. One of the other assets of the cross dowel is being able to tighten them later if needed.You can plug all of those holes in both methods but to tighten them you'd need to drill the plugs out and then re-plug. That's not easy with pocket holes but with a cross dowel the only plug you'd need to drill and re-plug is the end one over the bolt head which would be fairly straight forward. So for that one type application (that I can think of) the cross dowels are the best fastening method.
 
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Theo
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Or, you could do it like the cowboys used to build corrals. They would set the poles, wrap them with wet leather, and in a day or so that leather would dry and shrink and make about a permanent fastening there is. Except, you could always cut the rawhide later, if adjustments or take down was required, then wrap with wet rawhide again if need be.

This would not work everywhere, but with furniture, used only inside, might work. Be interesting to have one of you give it a try and report how it works. DesertratTom would be in a good location to give it a shot.
 

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The link is now dead but assuming that it is the "WOODPECKERS UNIVERSAL CROSS DOWEL JIG" my comment is that it is too restrictive and much more expensive than needed.

I'm just about ½ way through putting in cross dowels/bed bolts for the first time and I didn't need a jig also that jig would probably not have been of any use.

But if you have $200 burning a hole in your pocket then it's a pretty toy.
 
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